College Hockey Inc.
Men's Notes: 2024 NCAA Tournament Storylines
Sixteen Teams Aim to Win it All in Saint Paul

NCHC Frozen Faceoff champion Denver is the No. 1 seed in the Springfield Regional (Photo: DU Athletics).

The 2024 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Tournament gets underway this week at four regional sites, where each regional winner will emerge with a berth in the NCAA Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul (April 11 & 13).

The entire NCAA Tournament can be seen in the United States on the ESPN network of channels. Canadian viewers can stream all 15 tournament games on TSN+.

Read the 2024 NCAA Tournament Media Kit (above) for complete tournament information, including statistics, trends, historical data, and more.

Daily Scoreboard | Weekly ScheduleStat Leaders | Goaltending Leaders

Must Read:

Bleacher Report: 10 NHL prospects to watch at the 2024 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament
Boston Globe: How did Boston College turn into a juggernaut? It starts with these three freshmen
College Hockey News: ‘Be a dog on a bone.’ Randl, Omaha unfazed ahead of NCAAs
College Hockey News: Sweet 13 for Big Red
College Hockey News: Michigan Tech caps season turnaround with ‘gut check win at Bemidji
College Hockey News: Dream comes true for BC’s Smith, leading Eagles to Hockey East title
College Hockey News: Michigan State wins first Big Ten title in OT after thriller against rival Michigan
Daily Mining Gazette: Mosley feels depth is the difference for Huskies this season
EP Rinkside: NCAA tournament preview: Who can stop Boston College?
ESPN: The top NHL prospects playing in the 2024 NCAA hockey tournament
Lansing State Journal: Patrick Geary made most of opportunity, now thriving with Michigan State
Michigan Daily: Figure skater turned figurehead: How Marshall Warren brings hockey to his community
New York Hockey Journal: Freshman Arthur Smith made a big impact in the Princeton net 2024 NHL Draft Diary: Macklin Celebrini
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Loaded NCAA hockey regional puts Centene Community Ice Center in spotlight
St. Paul Pioneer Press: Gophers happy to get out of town as they head to Sioux Falls for NCAA tourney
The Rink Live: Overthinking over, Jimmy Snuggerud begins NCAA tourney re-focused on a title
USCHO: Sioux Falls Regional preview

Must Hear:

CHN Insiders: NCAA Tournament brackets
Inside Atlantic Hockey: Featuring AIC Head Coach Eric Lang, RIT Head Coach Wayne Wilson
Inside ECAC Hockey: Featuring RPI Head Coach Dave Smith
Inside Hockey East: Featuring Mike McMahon, Cade Webber, Ben Poisson, Jack Malone and Greg Carvel
Talking Hockey Sense: 2024 NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament preview with guest Mike McMahon
The CCHA Show: Featuring Michigan Tech freshman Chase Pietila and junior Jack Works
The Pipeline Show: Previewing the NCAA Tournament with USCHO’s Jimmy Connelly
UND Hockey Podcast: Previewing an NCAA tournament matchup vs. Michigan
USCHO Weekend Review: Breaking down the brackets for this week’s DI men’s hockey regionals

We Are the Champions:

Thirteen of the 16 schools in the 2024 NCAA Tournament have combined to win 59 previous national championships, topped by Denver and Michigan:

Most NCAA Championships
Denver, Michigan – 9
North Dakota – 8
Wisconsin – 6
Boston College, Boston University, Minnesota – 5

Last year’s NCAA champion, Quinnipiac, owns the longest active streak of consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, having qualified for each of the last five.

Award Watch:

This year’s tournament field will feature eight of the 10 Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalists: North Dakota F Jackson Blake (So., Eden Prairie, Minn.), Boston University F Macklin Celebrini (Fr., Vancouver, British Columbia), Denver F Jack Devine (Jr., Glencoe, Ill.), Boston College F Cutter Gauthier (So., Scottsdale, Ariz.), Quinnipiac F Collin Graf (Jr., Lincoln, Mass.), Boston University D Lane Hutson (So., Chicago, Ill.), Wisconsin G Kyle McClellan (Sr., Manchester, Mo.), and Boston College F Will Smith (Fr., Lexington, Mass.).

Additionally, two of the three Mike Richter Award finalists – McClellan and Boston College’s Jacob Fowler (Fr., Melbourne, Fla.) – are in the tournament.

The Future is Now:

A total of 129 NHL Draft picks are on 2024 NCAA Tournament rosters, including 13 first-round selections.

NHL Draft picks by regional
Maryland Heights – 35
Sioux Falls, Springfield – 32
Providence – 30

Additionally, Boston University F Macklin Celebrini (Fr., Vancouver, British Columbia), Michigan State D Artyom Levshunov (Fr., Zhlobin, Belarus) are draft eligible and have been widely ranked 1-2 in 2024 NHL Draft rankings.

Denver D Zeev Buium (Fr., Laguna Niguel, Calif.) is also draft eligible and has also been projected as a possible top-10 selection.

Point Persons:

The nation’s top nine individual scoring leaders will be competing in the national tournament, led by Boston College freshman F and Hobey Baker Award finalist Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.):

National scoring leaders
67 – Will Smith (Fr.), Boston College
59 – Jackson Blake (So.), North Dakota
59 – Cutter Gauthier (So.), Boston College
59 – Macklin Celebrini (Fr.), Boston University
57 – Gabe Perreault (Fr.), Boston College
55 – Jack Devine (Jr.), Denver
54 – Ryan Leonard (Fr.), Boston College
52 – Rutger McGroarty (So.), Michigan
51 – Gavin Brindley (So.), Michigan

With all nine having already amassed 50-plus points, it’s the most 50-point scorers in a single NCAA season since 13 eclipsed that mark in 2016-17.

Net Results:

A pair of standout goaltenders competing in the national tournament continue to make their marks in the NCAA record book.

Michigan Tech fifth-year G Blake Pietila (Howell, Mich.) enters the week with 24 career shutouts, a total topped by only two goalie netminders in the history of NCAA Division I men’s hockey:

Most Career NCAA Shutouts
Rk. Player, School (Years) SHO
1. Dryden McKay, Minnesota State (2018-22) 34
2. Ryan Miller, Michigan State (1999-2002) 26
3. Blake Pietila, Michigan Tech (2019-present) 24
4. Yaniv Perets, Quinnipiac (2020-23) 21
  Michael Bitzer, Bemidji State (2015-18) 21
  Matthew Galajda, Cornell/Notre Dame (2017-22) 21

Meanwhile, Cornell junior G Ian Shane (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) boasts a 1.71 career GAA that ties him for fifth-best in NCAA history, joining an exclusive group that also features three other Cornell goaltending greats:

Lowest Career GAA, NCAA History
Rk. Player, School (Years) GAA
1. David LeNeveu, Cornell (2002-03) 1.29
2. Ryan Miller, Michigan State (1999-2002) 1.54
3. Ken Dryden, Cornell (1967-69) 1.59
4. Ian Shane, Cornell (2021-present) 1.71
  Godfrey Wood, Harvard (1961-63) 1.71
  David McKee, Cornell (2004-06) 1.71

First Impressions:

Three head coaches are making their first appearances in the NCAA Tournament: Maine’s Ben Barr (RPI ’04), Boston College’s Greg Brown (Boston College ’90) and Michigan State’s Adam Nightingale (Michigan State ’05).

That trio has guided their respective programs to a combined 31-win improvement over last season (Boston College +17, Maine +8, Michigan State +6).


Providence Regional (Friday & Sunday, Amica Mutual Pavilion)
Top-seeded Boston College is on a 12-game winning streak, the nation’s longest active streak … The Eagles boast the top PK in country (89.6%) … Defending NCAA champion Quinnipiac is the top faceoff team in the tournament (55.0%) and is tied with Cornell as the best defensive team in the country (1.9 goals against per game) … Michigan Tech G Blake Pietila (Gr., Howell, Mich.) leads all tournament netminders in career appearances (140), wins (76) and shutouts (24) … Wisconsin G Kyle McClellan (Sr., Manchester, Mo.) owns a .931 save percentage this season, tied with Arizona State’s Gibson Homer for the best in the nation.

Sioux Falls Regional (Thursday & Saturday, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center)
Boston University and Minnesota are both seeking a return appearance to the Frozen Four after each advanced in 2023 … BU freshman F Macklin Celebrini (Vancouver, British Columbia) is the only player in NCAA Division I men’s hockey this season to play the entire year as a 17-year-old … RIT is the oldest team in the tournament with an average age of 23.5-years old (as of March 28). Only Western Michigan has received more points from seniors and graduate students than RIT … Minnesota F Bryce Brodzinski (Gr., Blaine, Minn.) has played in more career games – a school-record 183 – than any other player in the tournament … Omaha is 16-2-0 in one-goal games this season.

Springfield Regional (Thursday & Saturday, Mass Mutual Center)
No. 1 seed Denver boasts the nation’s highest scoring offense (4.9 goals per game), while no team in the country allows fewer goals than Cornell (1.9 per game) … DU has received a tournament-leading 159 points from defensemen this season … Maine freshman G Albin Boija (Sundsvall, Sweden) has started eight straight games for the Black Bears, going 5-3-0 with a 2.12 GAA and .915 SV% … Cornell Head Coach Mike Schafer (Cornell ’86) is making his 14th NCAA Tournament appearances, tops in this year’s field … UMass boasts two of the tournament’s four highest-scoring defensemen in juniors Scott Morrow (Darien, Conn.) and Ryan Ufko (Smithtown, N.Y.), who have 94 and 81 career points, respectively.

Maryland Heights Regional (Friday & Sunday, Centene Ice Center)
The Maryland Heights Regional boasts the most NHL Draft picks (35) of the four regionals … Michigan’s NCAA-leading power-play is converting at 35.3 percent, the best mark in college hockey this century … Michigan State has 16 players with double-digit point totals, tied with Denver for the most of any tournament team … North Dakota F Riese Gaber (Sr., Gilbert Plains, Manitoba) leads all tournament skaters in career points (129), goals (64) and power-play goals (29) … Western Michigan’s roster features 19 upperclassmen, more than any other team in the tournament and four more than the next-closest (RIT).

Notebook Quotebook:

“I think we’ve sold out 20 some (games) in a row now, and standing room only, and there (are) people here at 4 a.m. lining up to go in, so this is a hockey town. It goes back to Ron (Mason) laying the foundation and making it a hockey town and making it big in the community.”

-- Michigan State Head Coach Adam Nightingale after the Spartans won the Big Ten Tournament championship on home ice at Munn Arena (source The State News)

NHL Note of the Week:

Former Arizona State standout F Josh Doan (2021-23) made his NHL debut Tuesday with the Arizona Coyotes at Mullett Arena, scoring twice and becoming the first player in franchise history with multiple goals in his debut.

No stranger to Mullet Arena – home to both the Sun Devils and the Coyotes – Doan also happened to score the first-ever goal in the facility’s history back on Oct. 14, 2022.

Fries at the Bottom of the Bag:

Michigan Tech F Logan Pietila (Gr., Howell, Mich.) enters the tournament needing two points to reach 100 for his career … North Dakota freshman D Jake Livinavage (Phoenix, Ariz.) needs one point to become just the fourth rookie rearguard in school history to log 30 points. One of those three was Jason Herter (1988-89), who is also in the Maryland Heights Regional as an associate head coach with Western Michigan … Michigan State scoring leader Artyom Levshunov (Zhlobin, Belarus) is the school’s first freshman D with 30 points since Jason Wooley tied the school record with 37 in 1988-89 … Boston College is the first team with four 50-point scorers since Wisconsin in 2009-10 (Derek Stepan, Michael Davies, Blake Geoffrion, Brendan Smith). The Badgers lost to BC in that season’s NCAA title game.

Longest Active Point Streaks:

  • 18 games, F Gabe Perreault (Boston College)
    • 15-22—37, Began Dec. 1 vs. Northeastern
  • 10 games, F Jackson Blake (North Dakota)
    • 4-16—20, Began Feb. 17 at Colorado College
  • 10 games, F Matthew Wilde (RIT)
    • 10-4—14, Began Feb. 10 at Mercyhurst
  • 8 games, F Macklin Celebrini (Boston University)
    • 8-9—17, Began Feb. 17 vs. Providence
  • 8 games, F Rutger McGroarty (Michigan)
    • 4-10—14, Began Feb. 23 vs. Notre Dame

Longest Active Goal Streaks:

  • 4 games, F Gabe Perreault (Boston College)
    • 5-6—11, Began Feb. 18 vs. UMass
  • 4 games, F Brock Bremer (Omaha)
    • o 4-2—6, Began March 16 at Colorado College

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